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Is 1972 same as 1970 Vista Cruiser or Cutlass Cruiser?

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Is 1972 same as 1970 Vista Cruiser or Cutlass Cruiser?

Old March 30th, 2018, 11:12 AM
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Is 1972 same as 1970 Vista Cruiser or Cutlass Cruiser?

I am rebuilding the lower edge of my left rear quarter panel because of the typical rust there and I'm having trouble finding pictures of that area for a 1971 or 1972 model. Here is the section I'm talking about in these pictures off 1970 wagons. I think (am hoping?) this edge might look simpler on the later cars. Just a simple 90 degrees bend right at the corner instead of the harder to make double-step bends in this picture. Can anybody confirm if a 1972 looks the same or different? If it's not too much trouble even a good picture or two would speak a thousand words :-)

Thanks, Tom
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Last edited by tcolt; March 30th, 2018 at 11:25 AM.
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Old March 30th, 2018, 01:48 PM
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I would bet your last dollar they are the same for '72. You have to look at it from the manufacturer view. Why change the molds?
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Old March 30th, 2018, 02:11 PM
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You're right. That would seem logical, on the other hand American car manufacturers are known for changing the tooling for the slightest changes from year to year (except for chassis, frame, drive train, etc.) Maybe they called it an improvement or simplification in spot welding the inner and outer sheet metal together. I guess they could justify it when the rate at which the tool wore out was about the same as the rate of changes they wanted to make...

I have a hunch that what was left over on mine and what I could glimpse off of pictures was that they were different. Unfortunately, I can't find the rusted piece anymore that I'd cut out.
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Old March 30th, 2018, 06:49 PM
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Tom, here's pictures of the same area on my 1971 flat top Cutlass wagon. I think odds are your 1972 Vista Cruiser would have been the same. Let me know if I can provide any more photos or any measurements that might help. John




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Old March 30th, 2018, 07:04 PM
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Looks like I was wrong then. Slightly difficult piece to bend :-)

Thanks John and Scott!

P.S. Lucky for you John. Little rust :-)...
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Old March 30th, 2018, 07:06 PM
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Well, I'm guessing the purpose is to make it stiffer. But unless you plan to show your car for points odds are nobody will notice this area if you don't add the extra step. Just a thought. John
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Old March 31st, 2018, 12:15 AM
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You're probably right, but sometimes I can't help myself when it comes to getting it back to look like factory, even though this will only be a driver.
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Old April 1st, 2018, 09:08 AM
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Those parts are stamped, not molded, and the dies would not have been changed for that. Typically, model year changes are "bolt on solutions" and are not large stamped parts. This is why grilles, lights, and trim changes year to year, and bolt on things like fenders and decklids and hoods change, but shellbody parts and frames will not change for the life of the model until a major model change, and that's a "whole new car."
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